Joe Bob Briggs: When You Can't Hold Your Horses (Taki's Magazine)
Thoroughbred racehorses are gonna do whatever they wanna do. Calming them down, "steadying" them, making them comfortable, curing their daily physical ailments-all of these are art forms that require 24-hour attention right up until the moment the jockey climbs aboard and becomes responsible for making the animal run around the track in a competitive but orderly manner. It's like training a rabbit to hop on cue-theoretically possible but so unlikely that doing it can make you famous.
Paul Waldman: Trump is already colluding with a foreign government to get reelected (Washington Post)
There are some news stories so jaw-dropping that you have to read them two or three times to make sure you're not hallucinating. So it is with a story in the New York Times in which Rudolph W. Giuliani announces to the world that he is going to Ukraine to pressure that country's government to use its official resources to assist in President Trump's reelection effort - by mounting an investigation he hopes will produce dirt on Joe Biden.
Alexandra Petri: I'm a state legislator and I'm here to substitute teach your biology class (Washington Post)
The clitoris is like the Northwest Passage: Many men perished searching for it in vain; it does not exist, and never has. Do not go looking for it; you will surely die, and first you will have to see your dogs die.
Jonathan Chait: What Joe Biden Is Teaching Democrats About Democrats (NY Mag)
The poor guy has disregarded all the advice and decided to run anyway. And initial polling has revealed that a large number of Democrats have not left Biden behind at all. He begins the race leading his closest competitors, including early front-runner Bernie Sanders, by as much as 30 points. Perhaps it was the party's intelligentsia, not Biden, that was out of touch with the modern Democratic electorate.
Andrew Tobias: Lindsay Graham On Impeachment
Lindsay Graham on impeachment . I've got to admit he makes a strong case. Under a minute. Watch.
Zach Vasquez: "Alternate Endgame: what got cut from the Avengers finale?" (The Guardian)
The record-breaking Marvel blockbuster may have sprawled over 182 minutes but still, there were key moments that didn't make the cut.
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Michelle in AZ
Michael Egan wrote:
I was disappointed to see that no one suggested Australia
Dearest Doug ( "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do." - John Ruskin - ) sent this image:
Thanks, Michael & Doug!
• Can a pothole be a hero? Don't be silly. Can a pothole save a life? Actually, yes. In November 2011 while attending school in Cincinnati, Ohio, eight-year-old Laci Davis accidentally swallowed a heart-shaped gold locket that lodged in her throat, making breathing difficult. She said, "I was trying to put my hair up and I had my locket in my mouth, and he [a friend] was making me laugh so I was laughing at the same time, and it just went down my throat." She found breathing difficult. She said, "It felt like something was stabbing me right in the middle of my chest." Doctors X-rayed her throat and told her mother to take her to Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Her mother rushed her to the hospital, and on the way the car hit a pothole. The jolt dislodged the locket, which fell into Laci's stomach. Laci's mother, Amanda Cullum, said about the drive to the hospital, "We hit a pothole, and she looked at me and said, 'Mom, I feel better.' I said, 'What do you mean you feel better?' She said, 'I don't feel it anymore."' Laci said about the pothole, "It was my hero and I when I got home I was like, 'Thank you, bump.'" She added, "It's going to have to come out the old-fashioned way. I'm just going to get a new necklace because I'm not going through that 'treasure.'"
• Richard Burton bought his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, the famous La Peregrina pearl. She had a pajama party with some friends, including fashion designer Vicky Tiel, and served fried chicken and champagne. At the party, she showed off the pearl. At one point in the evening, however, she looked at the black velvet box the pearl had come in and screamed, "Oh, my god!" The pearl was missing. At first, they thought that the room-service waitress must have stolen the pearl but they realized that she had not been near it. That meant that one of the people present must have taken the pearl - or perhaps it was lost. They searched for it a long time, but fell asleep. The next morning Elizabeth's guests woke up first and worried about telling Mr. Burton that the pearl was missing. Mr. Burton walked into the room and woke up Elizabeth and handed the pearl to her, saying, "Here, I found your dog in his bed chewing on this."
• Despite his obvious high intelligence, Isaac Asimov could be absent-minded. When he was married to his first wife, he once took a bill to the gas company and complained about how much it was. He said, "We have never used enough gas to bring us up to the minimum. We have no children. We both work. We cook perhaps four meals a week. How can we possibly get a gas bill for $6.50? I demand an explanation." The gas-company employee had a good explanation: "This is an electric bill." By the way, television reporter Walter Cronkite once interviewed Mr. Asimov, who wanted to tell him, "My father will be very thrilled, Mr. Cronkite, when he finds out you've interviewed me." However, he was afraid of sounding immature and so refrained from saying it. During a break in the filming, Mr. Cronkite said to Mr. Asimov, "Dr. Asimov, my father will be very thrilled when he finds out I've interviewed you."
• Mishaps occur in nursing. When Joanne Murnane was a new nurse working in a hospital, one of her patients died. She prepared the dead patient, and seeing dentures on the dead patient's table, she stuffed the dentures in the dead patient's mouth and then took him to the hospital morgue. When she returned to the room to care for the other, live patient there, the live patient said, "Miss, have you seen my teeth? I laid them on this table but can't find them now." Of course, he had put his dentures on the wrong table. Thinking quickly, Nurse Murnane said, "I'm cleaning them for you, sir. I'll have them back soon." She says, "Of course, I did clean and sterilize the dentures and returned them to their correct owner, all the while thanking my lucky stars that all had worked out acceptably.
• Frank Sinatra tipped well - extremely well - but he demanded good service. He once invited his husband-and-wife friends Don and Barbara Rickles to a dinner party to celebrate their second anniversary. Everything was wonderful: the cold Jack Daniels, the hot hors d'oeuvers, a magnificent Chinese dinner. Well, almost wonderful. The service was slow, and this got on Frank's nerves. And when a server dropped noodles onto Frank's lap, Frank tipped the table over and left. The Rickles were left covered in Chinese food. Barbara rose to the occasion. She pointed to the glass of vodka that she was holding in her hand and asked, "Waiter, could I have some more ice?" (Frank sent Barbara a note of apology the next day.)
• Works of art can become lost, and not just in the usual way. For example, a bust of William Shakespeare is thought to have been on exhibit in the outdoors on Lookout Mountain at the Lookout Mountain National Military Park near Chattanooga, TN. Officials searched for the bust, but they were unable to find it. Apparently, it is still there - hidden under vegetation such as poison ivy. Susan Nichols of Save Outdoor Sculpture! says, "I call outdoor sculpture 'orphans of the cultural community.' Outdoor sculpture often suffers from benign neglect, as well as from the environment. We need to become more active and vigilant in caring for them."
• In the 1994 movie The Browning Version, starring Albert Finney, the Greek schoolmaster he plays appears in a scene with schoolboys who are having trouble translating the ancient Greek of Agamemnonby the tragedian Aeschylus. Classicist Mary Beard points out that it is no wonder that they are having trouble: On each schoolboy's desk appears not an edition of Aeschylus in Greek, but instead a Penguin translation of Aeschylus into English. (Penguin books have instantly recognizable covers.) Ms. Beard writes, "Presumably some bloke in the props department had been sent off to find twenty copies of the Agamemnon and knew no better than to bring it in English."
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Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
from that Mad Cat, JD
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In The Chaos Household
May gray continues.
Journalist's Home Raided
Before police officers arrived at a journalist's San Francisco home with a sledgehammer and a search warrant to investigate a leaked report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi, the city force had absorbed weeks of scolding.
Many city politicians believed someone in the department released the report's sordid details for political reasons. After all, Adachi, who died Feb. 22, was not only an aggressive defense attorney but a police watchdog famous for his public rebukes of misconduct by officers.
In recent weeks, police officials repeatedly apologized to the Board of Supervisors, the public defender's office and Adachi's wife. And they launched a criminal probe, vowing to restore trust.
But by raiding freelance videographer Bryan Carmody's home and office on Friday morning - seizing computers and other items in a bid to find out who leaked the report to Carmody, who then sold it to TV stations - the Police Department has turned a local controversy into a national firestorm.
The action is now the latest test of California's shield law, which protects journalists from being compelled to identify confidential sources, prompting rebuke from many First Amendment advocates.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter fell and broke his hip on Monday as he was preparing to leave his home in Georgia for a turkey-hunting trip, and underwent successful surgery to repair the injury, a representative said.
Carter, 94, a Democrat who was elected president in 1976, was accompanied by his wife, Rosalynn, 91, while recovering from the operation, which doctors said was successful, according to a statement from his nonprofit organization, the Carter Center.
The surgery was performed at a medical center in Americus, Georgia, about 10 miles (16 km) east of the Carters' home in Plains.
"President Carter said his main concern is that turkey season ends this week, and he has not reached his limit," the Carter Center said in its statement. "He hopes the state of Georgia will allow him to roll over the unused limit to next year."
The former peanut farmer-turned-politician received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his humanitarian work. He disclosed in August 2015 that he had been diagnosed with a form of skin cancer called melanoma.
Howard Stern, the legendary radio personality whose voice has lit up the airwaves for decades, reflected back on his career, his role in the 2016 presidential election and how a 2016 cancer scare changed his life in an interview with "Good Morning America" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos.
In his new book, "Howard Stern Comes Again," the longtime radio personality reveals his softer side, and he details what he thinks are some of his most memorable interviews.
One of the key characters in the book is President Don-Old Trump (R-Unqualified), who Stern says "was a big character on my show."
"Donald Trump, hands down, whenever you put him on the air, now, this is before he was running for president, he was an open book," Stern said. "He would say anything. And you know, oddly enough -- during the campaign and even now, people quote these interviews that I did with him."
When asked if he felt he in some way helped make Trump president, Stern responded: "Absolutely."
Swedish prosecutors said Monday they were reopening a 2010 rape investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, hoping to bring him to justice before the statute of limitations expires in August 2020.
The 47-year-old has claimed the Swedish allegations were a pretext to transfer him to the United States, where he fears prosecution over the release by WikiLeaks of millions of classified documents.
"I have today decided to reopen the investigation... There is still probable cause to suspect that Mr Assange committed rape," the deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Persson, told reporters.
"The previous decision (in May 2017) to close the investigation was not based on difficulties related to evidence, but on difficulties that blocked the investigation."
Carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere hit a stunning milestone over the weekend.
Data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii showed that carbon dioxide levels surpassed 415 parts per million Friday.
"We don't know a planet like this," Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and writer at Grist, an online environmental magazine, posted on Twitter.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have skyrocketed far higher than any levels in more than 800,000 years, according to data from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego, and levels have not been this high for millions of years, Holthaus said.
"This is the first time in human history our planet's atmosphere has had more than 415 ppm CO2," Holthaus tweeted. "Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago."
On the deepest dive ever made by a human inside a submarine, a Texas investor found something he could have found in the gutter of nearly any street in the world: trash.
Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, made the unsettling discovery as he descended nearly 6.8 miles (35,853 feet/10,928 meters) to a point in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench that is the deepest place on Earth, his expedition said in a statement on Monday. His dive went 52 feet (16 meters) lower than the previous deepest descent in the trench in 1960.
Vescovo, the Dallas-based co-founder of Insight Equity Holdings, a private equity fund, found the manmade material on the ocean floor and is trying to confirm that it is plastic, said Stephanie Fitzherbert, a spokeswoman for Vescovo's Five Deeps Expedition.
Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions with an estimated 100 million tonnes of it now found in the world's oceans, according to the United Nations.
It was the third time humans have dived to the deepest point in the ocean, known as Challenger Deep. Canadian movie maker James Cameron was the last to visit in 2012 in his submarine, reaching a depth of 35,787 feet (10,908 meters).
Golan 'Trump' Settlement
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that a site for a promised new settlement to be named after US President Don-Old Trump (R-Corrupt) had been chosen and formal approval was under way.
"I promised that we would establish a community named after President Trump," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
"I would like to inform you that we have already selected a site in the Golan Heights where this new community will be established, and we have started the process," he said in Hebrew.
Netanyahu pledged such a move last month, in appreciation of Trump's recognition of Israel's claim of sovereignty over part of the strategic plateau.
Trump broke with longstanding international consensus on March 25 when he recognised Israel's claim of sovereignty over the part of the Golan it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Golan 'Trump' Settlement
1945 Nuclear Fallout Debris
Unusual and abundant glassy spheres found packed within the beach sands near the Japanese city of Hiroshima are remnants of the 1945 atomic bomb explosion, according to new research.
On August 6, 1945, a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb over Hiroshima. In an instant, some 80,000 people were killed. The explosion and ensuing firestorms razed an area measuring more than 4 square miles (10 square kilometers), damaging upwards of 90 percent of all the structures in the city.
But what goes up must eventually come down. New research published today in the science journal Anthropocene is "the first published record and description of fallout resulting from the destruction of an urban environment by atomic bombing," according to the authors of the new paper. The works shows that the nearby beaches on the Motoujina Peninsula in Hiroshima Bay are surprisingly littered with this fallout debris up to a depth of around 4 inches (10 centimeters).
Described as "millimeter-sized, aerodynamically-shaped debris," these particles included glass spheroids, glass filaments, and melted composite compounds. The debris is reminiscent of the spherical particles found in the ground layer associated with the meteor impact that triggered a mass extinction 66 million years ago, and also the particles found in the area where the U.S. first tested the atomic bomb, according to the paper's lead author, geologist Mario Wannier. Unlike these particles, however, the ones found near Hiroshima were packed with materials such as iron, steel, and rubber.
"In the surprise of finding these particles, the big question for me was: You have a city, and a minute later you have no city. There was the question of: 'Where is the city-where is the material?' It is a trove to have discovered these particles. It is an incredible story," Wannier said in a Berkeley Lab statement.
Extinct Squid Relative Entombed
The latest discovery in a cache of ancient Burmese amber has revealed something completely unexpected: an extinct squidlike organism called an ammonite, which swam Earth's seas while dinosaurs dominated the land 100 million years ago. This is the first ammonite and one of the very first marine organisms ever found in amber; because the gemstone is fossilized tree resin, it traps mostly land organisms.
The specimen (above) came to light when a collector in Shanghai, China, bought it for about $750 from a dealer who claimed it was a land snail. Under the x-rays of a computerized tomography scanner, though, the shell revealed the intricate internal chambers characteristic of ammonites.
The ammonite's precise type confirms the Burmese amber is from the Cretaceous period, as previous dating studies have argued. But the 3-centimeter-long piece of ancient resin is a veritable surf and turf of land and sea creatures, also preserving at least 40 other animals-mites, spiders, millipedes, cockroaches, beetles, flies, wasps, and marine gastropods, the researchers report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To explain this unique amber piece, researchers have conjured up three scenarios. Perhaps resin dripped down from a forest next to a beach, catching first land critters and then seashells. Or a tsunami flooded low-lying trees, washing sea creatures into resin pools. Or, possibly, storm winds simply blew seashells into the forest. Regardless, scientists say, it's a welcome surprise.
Doris Day, the sunny blond actress and singer whose frothy comedic roles opposite the likes of Rock Hudson and Cary Grant made her one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the 1950s and '60s and a symbol of wholesome American womanhood, died Monday. She was 97.
With her lilting contralto, fresh-faced beauty and glowing smile, Day was a top box-office draw and recording artist known for comedies such as "Pillow Talk" and "That Touch of Mink," as well as songs like "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" from the Alfred Hitchcock film "The Man Who Knew Too Much."
Over time, she became more than a name above the title. Right down to her cheerful, alliterative stage name, she stood for the era's ideal of innocence and G-rated love, a parallel world to her contemporary Marilyn Monroe. The running joke, attributed to both Groucho Marx and actor-composer Oscar Levant, was that they had known Day "before she was a virgin."
Born to a music teacher and a housewife in Cincinnati, Day dreamed of a dance career but at age 12 broke her leg badly when a car in which she was traveling was hit by a train. Listening to the radio while recuperating, she began singing along with Ella Fitzgerald, studying the singer and the subtleties of her voice.
Day began singing at a Cincinnati radio station, then a nightclub, then in New York. A bandleader changed her name to Day after the song "Day after Day" to fit it on a marquee.
A marriage at 17 to trombonist Al Jorden ended when, she said, he beat her when she was eight months' pregnant. She gave birth to her son, Terry, in early 1942. Her second marriage also was short-lived. She returned to Les Brown's band after the first marriage broke up.
Her first singing hit was the 1945 smash "Sentimental Journey," when she was barely in her 20s. Among the other songs she made famous were "Everybody Loves a Lover," ''Secret Love," and "It's Magic," a song from her first film, "Romance on the High Seas."
Her last film was "With Six You Get Eggroll," a 1968 comedy about a widow and a widower who blend families.
In the 1960s, Day discovered that failed investments by her third husband, Martin Melcher, left her deeply in debt. She eventually won a multimillion-dollar judgment against their lawyer.
With movies trending toward more explicit sex, she turned to television to recoup her finances. "The Doris Day Show" was a moderate success in its 1968-1973 run on CBS.
In her autobiography, Day recalled her son telling her the $20 million she had earned had vanished and she owed around $450,000, mostly for taxes. Terry Melcher, who died in 2004, became a songwriter and record producer, working with such stars as the Beach Boys. He was also famous for an aspiring musician he turned down, Charles Manson. When Manson and his followers embarked on their murderous rampage in 1969, they headed for a house once owned by Melcher and instead came upon actress Sharon Tate and some visitors, all of whom were killed.
Her wholesome image was referenced in the song "I'm Sandra Dee" in the 1971 musical "Grease," which included the lyrics: "Watch it, hey, I'm Doris Day/ I was not brought up that way/ Won't come across/ Even Rock Hudson lost/ His heart to Doris Day."